17/12/2011 04:47 GMT | Updated 15/02/2012 05:12 GMT

Hague Welcomes UN Unfreezing Of Libyan Assets

The decision to unfreeze the assets of two Libyan banks is "another significant moment" in the country's transition, the Foreign Secretary said.

William Hague welcomed the decision by the UN Sanctions Committee to remove restrictions from the Central Bank of Libya and the Libya Arab Foreign Bank.

The assets of five financial institutions linked to Muammar Gaddafi were frozen earlier this year.

"I welcome (Friday's) agreement by the UN Sanctions Committee to remove sanctions from the Central Bank of Libya and the Libya Arab Foreign Bank," Mr Hague said.

"This marks another significant moment in Libya's transition.

"It means that Libya's government will now have full access to the significant funds needed to help rebuild the country, to underpin stability and to ensure that Libyans can make the transactions that are essential to everyday life.

"The UK has led the way in securing the release of these assets.

"We are now working to ensure that the EU will respond swiftly to this UN decision and will pass the regulation required to release about £6.5 billion frozen in the UK."

The Foreign Secretary called on Libya's transitional government to "redouble" efforts to build a "transparent and accountable financial system".

He added: "We will continue to work with the Libyan government and other nations to agree the steps required to remove remaining sanctions, so that Libya's assets can be used for the benefit of its people."